Top students help secure Australia's water future


Students look for alternative water
resources as part of a 2013
National Youth Science Forum
workshop held at Geoscience Australia.
© Geoscience Australia

Australia's top Year 11 science students have converged on Canberra this week to learn about techniques used to identify possible groundwater resources which are essential to Australia's sustainability in a changing climate.

The students are participating in a half-day workshop at Geoscience Australia as part of the 2013 National Youth Science Forum, where they are working with geoscientists to help find possible sources of groundwater.

"This workshop provides students with a hands-on experience to engage with some of our leading scientists and learn about the major challenges facing Australia - in this instance helping to identify alternative water sources in arid Australia," said Geoscience Australia's Deputy CEO Dr James Johnson.

A range of geoscience techniques which are normally used in actual research projects were chosen to maximise the students'exposure in both an outdoors and laboratory setting. This included undertaking a scaled seismic and magnetic survey using geophysical equipment to 'image' the ground beneath our feet; or analysing sediment and water samples in the laboratory.

"We hope these talented students will be inspired by this experience to consider pursuing a career in the geosciences, and even consider applying for a place with Geoscience Australia's work experience and graduate programs in the future," Dr Johnson said.

The National Youth Science Forum is a two week program held each January in Canberra for talented students moving into Year 12 with a potential career interest in science, engineering and technology.

Geoscience Australia is one of the many science education experiences offered to the students as part of the program. The Geoscience Australia Education Centre is staffed by trained educators, science communicators and geologists and offers structured hands-on activities with a science and geography curriculum focus for visiting school groups.